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LVEDC Programs Serve as Resource Center, Regional Connector for the Lehigh Valley

By Colin McEvoy on April 3, 2018

LVEDC Vice President of Finance John Kingsley speaking at the LVEDC 2017 Annual Meeting.

LVEDC Vice President of Finance John Kingsley speaking at the LVEDC 2017 Annual Meeting.

This article was featured in “Quarterly Connections,” a new quarterly newsletter LVEDC is distributing to municipal officials in the Lehigh Valley.

The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) seeks to help businesses come, start, and grow here, and one of the ways we do that is by serving as a resource center and regional connector for all available economic development resources.

Our organization does this in various ways, including through the LVEDC Finance Department, as well as its Business Outreach Program (BOP).

The LVEDC Finance Department, which provides much-needed capital for companies seeking to relocate, expand, or start here in the Lehigh Valley.

In 2017 alone, the Finance Department provided access to $17.2 million in financing for regional companies in support of investment in the Lehigh Valley that will exceed $54.6 million. Those projects help lead to the creation or retention of more than 800 regional jobs.

“LVEDC offers access to a wide variety of financing options and loan programs to address an array of business needs,” said John Kingsley, LVEDC Vice President of Finance. “We offers a consultative approach to advising companies, not only on the resources we administer directly, but on a myriad of financing options available through traditional lenders and other public and non-profit resources.”

LVEDC serves as the regional connector to all various economic development resources, including state funding (BIOS, ISRP, GAT), federal funding (EPA), and local funding (local nonprofit resource programs).

Representatives from the Finance Department are more than willing to provide any additional information about these resources to its municipal partners. Kingsley can be reached at (610) 266-0887 or via email at [email protected].

LVEDC also manages the Lehigh Valley Lending Network, which offers a single point of entry to 16 local banks and lending institutions and more than 30 local, state and federal business financing and incentive resources to eligible companies in our region.

“Through one inquiry, we can help our customers access loans with low fixed interest rates, tax credits and grants to help their business expand and their project succeed,” Kingsley said.

LVEDC’s BOP uses a customer-oriented approach to economic development designed to link Lehigh Valley businesses to resources throughout the community that will help their business become more profitable. The program also lets LVEDC gain information about the needs of local businesses, regional economic trends, and challenges and opportunities regional businesses face.

“We’ve like to work with local municipal leaders to help identify business targets and join us in BOP visits to those companies,” said Melody Bradford, LVEDC Director of Business Outreach. “The BOP seeks to combine the resources of LVEDC, government agencies, our public-sector partners, and private corporations.”

The BOP is currently undertaking the most expansive business calling program the Lehigh Valley has ever seen, with a goal of 325 visits to Lehigh Valley companies to hear about their stories and help their businesses grow.

“While attracting new businesses to the Lehigh Valley tends to get the bigger headlines, retaining our existing businesses and helping them grow is as important a part of what LVEDC does,” Bradford said. “Seventy percent of new jobs created in the region each year come organically from companies already located here, which highlights the importance of having a robust business outreach program.”

Municipal leaders seeking more information, or wishing to discuss possible business targets for business outreach visits through the BOP, can contact Bradford at (610) 266-6633 or via email at [email protected].

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